Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plugging in to the Electric Revolution; Go-Ahead for Network of Charge Points

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plugging in to the Electric Revolution; Go-Ahead for Network of Charge Points

Article excerpt

Byline: Amy Hunt

ANETWORK of hundreds of charging points for electric cars will be created in the North East thanks to the region winning millions of pounds of Government cash.

A total of 1,300 plug sockets will be installed around the region over the next three years, on streets, in car parks, at homes, businesses, shopping centres and tourist attractions, in a pounds 7.8m project.

The aim is to lay the groundwork to make electric cars a viable option for families and commuters and to position the North East as a major player in securing Britain's low-carbon future.

The announcement comes as the Government unveils the North East as one of its first three "Plugged-In Places", along with London and Milton Keynes.

Alan Clarke, chief executive of One North East, said: "We are delighted the Government has chosen to support our bid and that we will help lead the national infrastructure programme. The roll-out of 1,300 electric vehicle charging points across our region now begins in earnest.

"The backing we have received from regional partners shows just how much enthusiasm there is in our region to grasp the opportunities available in the low carbon vehicle sector."

The man in charge of the roll-out of the charging points, Dr Colin Herron, One North East manufacturing and productivity manager, said: "This announcement points signals that the North East is ahead in Europe in the low carbon vehicle sector. We're serious about it and we're doing it.

"We have done a lot to establish ourselves as the new automotive region and the fact the Government has picked us for this funding says a lot."

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (Olev) will hand just under pounds 3m to regional development agency One North East, which itself will put in pounds 3.8m.

A further pounds 1m has been pledged by more than 40 councils, businesses and organisations in the region which want to install charging points at their premises.

The National Trust, which owns tourist attracting properties such as Wallington Hall and Cragside, and Northumberland National Park which incorporates Hadrian's Wall, have committed to donating money. …

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